Content: Language and Writing
Grade Level: 8
Theme: E-pals Around the World
Common Core/Literacy Standards:
- Students should develop and strengthen their writing by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach
- Students should focus on the purpose and audience when writing
- Students should write routinely over different amounts of set time
- Students should exhibit proper grammar
- Students should recognize and correct their mistakes when it comes to verb voice and mood
|Production and Distribution of Writing|
|8.W.5.||With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.|
|8.W.10.||Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.|
|Conventions of Standard English|
|8.L.1.||Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.|
|8.L.1.d.||Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood.|
- I would integrate the following Common Core Standards:
- W.4 to work with my students on producing clear writing that flows well and is focused on the main point.
- W.6 to implement technology and the internet into the students’ writing.
- L.2.a-d to help students work on their spelling, grammar, and use of proper punctuation.
Alternate Text Resources: The alternate text is a friendly letter distributed by the teacher and a simple email projected on the board. These serve as examples of what the students should be writing to their e-pals. Students will also be reading emails and letters that their peers practice writing.
- 10 Phases
- Phase 1: Preparation by the teacher with signing up for the e-pals on the e-pals Global Community Website
Phases 2-7: Letter Writing
- Phase 2: Students view a sample friendly letter, identify the parts of the letter, and brainstorm ideas about what they want to talk about in their letter
- Phase 3: Students write a rough draft of their letter independently
- Phase 4: Students get with a partner and think, pair, share with proof reading, editing, and revising their partners’ letter
- Phase 5: Students use the letter generator to write the final draft of their letter
- Phase 6: Teach the students how to address an envelope
- Phase 7: Students address an envelope independently and prepare their letter to be sent
Phases 8-10: Email Writing
- Phase 8: Show students a sample email; teach them about the different parts of an email (BCC, CC, subject, recipient); explain spellcheck and talk about grammar
- Phase 9: Students type a rough draft of their email to a partner independently and send it to a common email address; students think, pair, share their email with their partner where they will peer edit for spelling, grammar, and punctuation
- Phase 10: Students type their final draft of their email, submit it to the teacher for review, and then send it to their e-pal
Instructional Literacy Strategies: Think, Pair, Share to practice writing letters and emails.
- Peer editing with think pair share
- Brainstorming about what to mention in a letter
- Practice with typing and sending an email
- Think about what they want to write about in their letter.
- Think about their peer’s work and how to respond to it.
- Think about what to write about in an email.
- Think about different parts of a letter
- Think about how to write an email, the subject, and the concept of BCC and CC
What I like:
- I love the idea of having students write letters to e-pals.
- This lesson prepares students for future work writing letters and papers on a computer, on their conversational skills, and on their English skills when it comes to communicating.
- I like that students are involved in the preparation for writing process as they brainstorm different things to write about.
- I like the sample letters that students are given. This allows them to see an example. Some students in special education learn better by seeing an example than by learning from a lesson with a teacher talking.
- I like the idea of peer editing. Students always learn so much from one another!
- I like how students are learning life skills like addressing an envelope, formulating an email, using spellcheck. This is such an integral part of special education.
- I LOVE the letter generator and the fact that it helps students learn how to write a letter by providing guidance in a technology-oriented fashion.
- Students learn how to make new friends online (in a safe way) and correspond with someone via email.
- I may need to let a student use an Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) device when preparing the letter, typing the email, or participating in think pair share.
- I may have to scaffold and provide support and assistance to some students as they formulate their letters and emails.
- Projector is used to show an example of an email.
- Letter generator to help the students write a letter.
- Students need technology to write a practice email.
- Students need technology to find an e-pal using the website and to write emails to their e-pal.
- Henry, L. A. (n.d.). E-pals Around the World [Lesson Plan]. Retrieved from readwritethink: http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/pals-around-world-178.html?tab=1#tabs
- Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. (2010, June 2). Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/wp-content/uploads/ELA_Standards1.pdf